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Report a problem, ask a question! Students Faculty and Staff Blackboard Users


Student Vista Login
Student Resources
Student e-Services
Students Report Problem or Ask Question

Faculty & Staff

Student Vista Login
Faculty Resources
Faculty Training
Faculty e-Services
Students Report Problem or Ask Question

Looking for Student Support?

Quick Links

Contact Information

Academic Computing Lab (S800)
(713) 221-8540 (x8540)

Technology Teaching and Learning Center (A700)
(713) 221-2786 (x2786)

All hours are in central time zone
Office Hours:
M-F: 7:30am-6pm

Extended Support:

SAT: 8am-5pm
SUN: 2pm-10pm

Vista Lockdown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser™ is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard Vista. When students use Respondus LockDown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. When an assessment is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading. (Supports Windows and Mac OS X 10.3.9+.)

Extended Feature List

  • Assessments are displayed full-screen and cannot be minimized
  • Assessments cannot be exited until submitted by users for grading
  • Task switching or access to other applications is prevented
  • Printing functions are disabled
  • Print Screen and capturing functions are disabled
  • Copying and pasting anything to and from an assessment is prohibited
  • Right-click menu options are disabled
  • Browser menu and toolbar options are disabled, except for Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop
  • Function keys are disabled
  • Source code for the HTML page cannot be viewed
  • Over 250 screen capture, messaging, screen-sharing and network monitoring applications are blocked from running
  • The browser automatically starts at the login page for the institution’s course management system
  • URLs cannot be typed by the user
  • External links don’t compromise the “locked” testing environment
  • Pages from the assessment aren’t cached or stored in Internet Explorer’s history listing
  • Assessments that are set up for use with Respondus LockDown Browser cannot be accessed with other browsers.

What are the computer requirements for installations of LDB?

LDB is a “client” application that is installed to local computers. The computer requirements for the Windows version are as follows:

  • Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME, 98
  • Internet Explorer (configured to the requirements for the Blackboard platform)
  • 2 MB of permanent space on the hard drive

The computer requirements for the Macintosh version are as follows:

  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher
  • Safari browser (configured to the requirements for Blackboard)
  • 2 MB of permanent hard drive space

Will installing LDB change the existing settings for Internet Explorer or Safari? Is LDB as secure as the browser software currently installed on the computer?

LDB provides a custom interface for the Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac) browsers that are already installed on computers. LDB does not modify an existing copy of Internet Explorer or Safari, but rather, installs a separate program that will display the custom interface when it is started. LDB uses the same security features and service packs currently installed for Internet Explorer and Safari. In summary, installing Respondus LockDown Browser won’t modify the current version of Internet Explorer or Safari, yet uses the same security settings and service packs that are installed for those browsers.

Are instructor training materials available for LDB?

Quick Start Guides for Respondus LockDown Browser are available here: (for both instructors and students). Demonstration movies for LDB are also available here:

Does anything need to be installed to a computer for Respondus LockDown Browser to be used for an online exam?

Yes, the installation application for Respondus LockDown Browser must be run on the computer. This will place a shortcut on the Windows desktop named "LockDown Browser" (on a Macintosh launch “LockDown Browser” from the Applications folder). Students must start Respondus LockDown Browser rather than starting another browser if they want to access an assessment that requires Respondus LockDown Browser. (Note, it is possible for an administrator to "push" all setup files to a computer using Desktop Management Software such as Altiris or Microsoft SMS. See the administrator guide for additional information.)

Respondus LockDown Browser is a separate application than Internet Explorer or Safari. You must install Respondus LockDown Browser to a computer and then start the Respondus LockDown Browser program before logging into your online course. When the assessment is selected, it will then work as intended.

How to turn on Lockdown Browser:

1. From assessments click on security properties.

Lockdown browser checkbox

2. Then check the box for Respondus Lockdown Browser.

security properties of Bb exam

Where do I send students to download Lockdown Browser?

Instructions for Students


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Last updated or reviewed on 2/21/09

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